The holiday season is rolling around once again – and that means that buying presents is at the forefront of just about everyone’s mind. While the holidays are a time of joy, fun, and celebration, they can also be quite stressful – especially if you have to shop for a large number of friends and family.
Choosing the right gifts for everyone can be very difficult indeed, which is why gift cards remain the #1 most popular gift for the winter holidays. Gift cards allow you to give a thoughtful and fun present that’s still versatile and useful – and recipients of gift cards never have to worry about getting the wrong thing, or having to wait through a gigantic “returns” line at a retail store.
And while gift cards are extremely popular as “main” gifts during the winter holidays, they’re also useful as stocking stuffers! Opening a Christmas stocking is one of the most fun and unique parts of the winter holidays, and gift cards are a great way to give the perfect holiday stocking stuffer!
Stockings usually contain a variety of lower-cost, inexpensive items such as toys, candy, and apparel – and if you choose to add a gift card into the mix, you’re sure to make your family members extra-happy this holiday season. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best low-cost gift cards that make fantastic stocking stuffers – so that you can have all the knowledge you need to make the winter holidays truly special!
Why Give Gift Cards As Stocking Stuffers?
This may be the first question on your mind. Why are gift cards good stocking stuffers? Can’t I just give cash, or buy a smaller, low-cost item from a family member’s favorite store?
Well, you certainly don’t have to use gift cards as stocking stuffers. But at EJ Gift Cards, we think gift cards are the ideal stocking stuffer – and here’s why!
- More personal and fun than cash – Cash is great. Everyone loves money – that’s kind of a no-brainer! But here’s the thing about cash. It doesn’t feel special. We all get cash every day – from paychecks, tips, allowances, ATMs, and more. The feeling of getting cash is not exactly special or unique.
Because of this, a cash gift often does not feel personal or fun. You put $20 into your kid’s stocking, they open it, and then they stick the money in their wallet, purse, or piggy-bank – where it gets lost and combined with all their other money.
A gift card, on the other hand, feels more unique and special, and more “gift-like”. It can’t be deposited into a bank account or stuck with the rest of your cash. That means gift cards are more likely to be spent on fun items!
- Provides recipient with more choice on how to spend card value – Why give a $25 gift card to a retail store when you could just buy $25 of merchandise? Because you want to give the gift of flexibility. Giving your child or loved one a pair of brand-new socks instead of a gift card may be a great idea – but if it’s not exactly what they wanted, they may feel somewhat disappointed, or even have to return your selected product.
Giving a gift card ensures that your loved one always get exactly what they want. How (and when!) they spend the balance of a gift card is totally up to them, so they’re in control of their own gift-giving experience!
- Fun, holiday-themed gift cards make the experience more special – Just about every large retailer sells holiday-themed gift cards. Target, for example, sells Target gift cards that are decked out with snow, Christmas trees, and other seasonally-appropriate decorations. These gift cards can be combined with unique gift card holders which you can either purchase alongside the gift card, or print out yourself.
You can then customize these card holders with unique messages, and tell your loved ones how you feel about them. That’s certainly quite a bit better than just giving them cash!
For these 3 reasons, to name just a few, we think that gift cards are truly an ideal stocking stuffer. And if your recipient gets a gift card they don’t want, they can simply sell it online! When they sell Apple store gift cards online, for example, they can get a huge percentage of the value of the card as cash!
What Makes A Gift Card A Good Stocking Stuffer?
So, we’ve established that a gift card is a great addition to your holiday or Christmas stockings! But what gift card should you choose?
That’s a great question – and we’ve listed our top 10 picks later in our article. But if you want to choose your own gift cards for stocking stuffers, here are a few of the criteria that we think make gift cards an ideal stocking stuffer.
- Inexpensive – Stockings aren’t traditionally filled with high-value objects. Usually, they include things like Christmas ornaments, small toys, candy, baked goods, and other treats. Because of this, it’s best to choose a gift card that’s inexpensive, especially because you’ll have to buy a card for each member of your family who is opening a stocking. We usually recommend staying in the range of $10-$25 for stocking-stuffer gift cards.
- Useful – What’s more useful – a $25 gift card to Chipotle, or a $25 gift card to Nordstrom? With the Chipotle gift card, your recipient can enjoy 3 meals – but with the Nordstrom card, they may not even be able to afford a makeup set, or even inexpensive items such as socks or underwear, though they can always sell Nordstrom gift cards for cash.
As this example shows, it’s best to choose a stocking stuffer gift card that’s useful, while still maintaining a low value. This allows your recipient to feel like they’ve gotten a truly great gift!
- Versatile – It’s usually best to choose a gift card that can be spent on a wide variety of items. Getting a gift card to big-box store like Target, for example, is a great idea. Even a cheap, $25 gift card could be spent on treats like candy and cookies, electronic accessories, clothing, or any number of other items! Versatility lets your gift card recipient truly control their own gifting experience!
- Easy to spend quickly – Part of the appeal of a low-value stocking stuffer gift card is that the recipient can spend it quickly – guilt-free! When you give someone a high-value gift card, such as a $200 gift card to the Apple Store or Best Buy, they’re likely to take their time when picking what to buy, due to the high value of the card.
That’s fine, of course. But a low-value card can be spent freely without guilt, or worrying about picking the wrong thing!
If you follow these guidelines when picking out a stocking stuffer gift card, we know you’ll make the right choice. But if you still need some ideas and recommendations, we’ve compiled our top 10 stocking stuffer gift cards in the following list.
The Top 10 Stocking Stuffer Gift Cards – Our Picks!
All of the below gift cards adhere to the four principles we set out above – so if you choose any of these gift cards, you’re sure to make the right decision!
- Target – Target is our #1 pick for stocking stuffer gift cards. Target has an enormous variety of merchandise available, and their low-cost store brand, everyday low prices, and large selection of inexpensive products makes them an absolutely fantastic choice. You can also redeem gift cards online, making it easy for your loved ones to shop from the comfort of your home.
- WalMart – WalMart is pretty much tied with Target, and is an equally viable choice for stocking stuffer gift cards, especially if there is no Target store close to you. Low prices, easy online gift card redemption, and convenience make WalMart gift cards great stocking stuffers.
- McDonald’s – McDonald’s gift cards are great for kids and teenagers. With just a single $25 McDonald’s gift card, your kids can enjoy quite a few meals at the restaurant – and this is often a great excuse for them to hang out with their friends during the holidays!
You don’t have to pick McDonald’s, of course, especially if you know that your kids love a different fast food restaurant. The choice is yours!
- Chipotle – Chipotle is a great choice for older teenagers, or young adults in your family. Chipotle offers food that’s a cut above your typical fast-food restaurant, and because they serve such enormous burritos, the restaurant is always a hit with hungry, growing teens!
- Starbucks – Starbucks is the king of gift cards. Each holiday season, the company sells millions of dollars in gift cards, and for good reason. Children, teens, and adults of every age can enjoy Starbucks beverages like hot chocolate, house blend coffee, and delicious Frappucinos – as well as pastries and snacks.
There’s something for everyone, and because even a $25 gift card will get you quite a few trips to this coffee shop, it’s a fantastic choice for a stocking stuffer!
- Fandango Gift Cards (or a theater of your choice) – Fandango gift cards can be redeemed at most movie theaters, including AMC and Cinemark. Usually, a $25 gift card will get you at least 2 movies – and if you give these cards to your entire family, you’ve got a great excuse to go out, see the latest Christmas releases, and spend time with each other!
- iTunes – iTunes gift cards are a fantastic choice if your family mostly uses iOS devices like Apple TV, iPhones, and iPads. iTunes gift cards can be redeemed for apps, music, movies, books, TV shows, and so much more. And because they can be spent almost immediately when they’re received, they’re a great way to make your holidays special!
- Google Play – If Android is more up your alley, Google Play gift cards are a fantastic choice. Just like iTunes, the Google Play Store is a digital marketplace where you can buy TV shows, movies, music, apps, and more – and you can even spend Google Play credits on in-app purchases.
- Amazon – You can’t go wrong with an Amazon gift card. You can buy literally anything on Amazon, all from the comfort of your own home! And if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, it’ll be delivered within just 2 days!
If you or your family members are not Amazon Prime members, we do recommend buying at least a $25 Amazon gift card, because after you spend $25 at Amazon, you’ll get free shipping. If you don’t hit that threshold, shipping costs may eat up quite a bit of the gift card’s value.
- VISA Gift Cards – When in doubt, get a VISA gift card! These are a bit more expensive than other gift cards, but because they are “open-loop” gift cards, they can be spent just like cash at any store that accepts credit or debit cards. If you have kids who like to shop online, but don’t have debit/credit cards of their own, a VISA gift card is a great choice, because cash can’t be spent at online stores.
If you choose one (or more) of our top 10 picks for holiday stocking stuffers, you’re sure to make your family happy this holiday season. So take another look at our top choices, and think about what’s right for your loved ones!
Got Gift Cards That You Don’t Need? Sell Them With EJ Gift Cards Today!
One of the best things about giving gift cards is that they can be sold online if they’re not the right gift. This means that gift cards are basically risk-free – even if you don’t choose the right one, your family member or loved one can benefit from your gift!
At EJ Gift Cards, you can sell GAP gift cards, sell Target gift cards, and sell hundreds of other cards for a large percentage of their value! We pay out directly through PayPal, so you can rest assured that your money is safe.
Learn more about our selling process now, and see how you can benefit from selling gift cards online for cash. And take a look at the rest of our blog posts to learn more about the fantastic world of gift cards, and get more helpful advice!